for immediate release: 22 April, 2003
Pre-Season Cape League Notes #2
CAPE COD, Mass. – PREVIEW OF THINGS TO COME – East Division
The top returning pitcher for new field manager Bob Macaluso and the Brewster Whitecaps (20-24-4 in 2002) is hard-throwing left-hander Taylor Tankersley, who compiled a 6-1 record with a sparkling 1.41 ERA last season. Tankersley is enjoying a banner spring for the University of Alabama (26-11) with a 5-1 record, 71 K’s and a 3.47 ERA. Two promising newcomers for the Whitecaps are the twin brother combination of Danny (OF) and Paco Figueroa (Inf) of U. Miami.
Field manager John Schiffner hopes to lead the Chatham A’s (19-23-2) back to the playoff hunt after a one-year absence. Before last season, the A’s had reached the playoffs 11 straight times. One of the top returning players is Jamie D’Antona, a Baseball America Top 30 prospect, who hit .235 with eight doubles and a team-leading 19 RBI last season. He is enjoying a solid spring for Wake Forest (23-15) with a .392 batting avg., 15 HR and 64 RBI. Two other Wake Forest products expected to perform for the A’s this summer are Ryan Johnson, who’s hitting .409 with 8 HR and 40 RBI this spring, and Steve LaFaivre, who’s hitting .284 with 2 HR and 18 RBI.
Last summer, the Harwich Mariners (21-23-0) fell just short of a playoff berth. But with the return of five key players, field manager Steve Englert hopes to take that extra step toward postseason. Returning to the fold are All-Star pitcher Shaun Marcum (4-1, 10 saves in ‘02) of SW Missouri St., infielders Tony Festa (.258 BA in ‘02) of Cal-Riverside and Brad McCann of Clemson, outfielder Chuck Akers of Middle Tennesse St. and pitcher Jeff Nieman of Rice. Nieman has enjoyed a spectacular spring for Rice, compiling a perfect 10-0 record with 88 strikeouts in 78 innings and a 1.62 ERA.
Field manager Carmen Carcone and his Orleans Cardinals (29-13-2) hope for a repeat of 2002, when they set a team record for wins (29) and played Wareham in the league championship series. Carcone, who was voted the Mike Curran Award as manager of the year in his rookie season, looks to the U. Florida triumvirate of pitchers Connor Falkenbach and Justin Hoyman and outfielder Jeff Corsaletti. Hoyman (6-3, 2.78 ERA, 50 K/74.1 IP) and Falkenbach (4-2, 4.20 ERA, 39 K/37.2 IP) are the top two pitchers on the Florida staff, while Corsaletti is hitting .306 with three homers and 26 RBI for the 28-12-1 Gators.
Coming off its second straight playoff season under Coach Scott Pickler, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (21-20-3) hope to make it three postseason appearances in a row, thanks to the return of slugging first baseman Wes Whisler of UCLA and right-handed pitcher Michael Rogers. Last summer, Whisler finished fourth in league batting (.309), second in home runs (6) and first in slugging pct. (.512) and was voted #1 by the Baseball America Top 30 Prospects. The 6’5” Whisler is hitting .309 with six home runs and 23 RBI for the Bruins. Rogers led the Y-D staff last summer with a 5-1 record and a 1.82 ERA.
FIELD OF DREAMS
The Bourne Braves and Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical High School announced plans to construct a new, state-of-the-art baseball stadium on school property. Ground will be broken on the new $300,000 to $550,000 facility this fall. The stadium is expected to include a press box, concessions stand, dugouts, concrete bleacher seats, permanent toilet facilities and lights for night games. The new park is tentatively named Bourne Braves Field. Maintaining the Cape League ambience, the park will boast multiple picnic-style eating areas, storage facilities, and open space for kids to play. Bullpens, a new scoreboard beyond the centerfield fence and many more details are all part of the design. The outfield fences will be 325 feet along the left- and right field lines and 390-feet in straightaway center. Upper Cape students will be charged with constructing many of the field’s buildings. Today’s Bourne Braves were established in 1987 and first played at the Mass. Maritime before moving to Coady Field. If you or your business would like to donate time, labor or materials to offset costs, please contact Lynn Ladetto at (508) 888-5080 or Barry Motta at (508) 295-1320.
WHAT'S FOR BRUNCH ?
The First Pitch Brunch will be held at the 99 Restaurant on Rt. 28 in West Yarmouth on Sunday, June 8 beginning at 10 am. Each of the league’s 10 field managers will give a brief preview of his 2003 team. Pete Sheppard of WEEI Radio (850 am)’s “The Big Show” in Boston will serve as master of ceremonies.
NEW CORPORATE FRIENDS AND OTHER STRANGERS
Cape League President Judy Walden Scarafile has announced three new sponsors to the ever-growing list of CCBL corporate partners. They include the 99 Restaurant, RE/MAX and Shields MRI and SPRINT PCS, which has re-joined the CCBL team.
FULL PLATE SPECIAL
The Cape Cod Baseball League is establishing a Special Edition Massachusetts automobile license plate. The proposed CCBL License plate will honor the nation’s premier NCAA-sanctioned summer baseball league that can trace its roots back to 1885. The Massachusetts Legislature requires a commitment and partial payment from 3000 individuals interested in obtaining a CCBL license plate in order to proceed with the approval process through the legislature. Applications or further information is available by contacting Jim McGonigle at 508-385-6260 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
WHO'S HOT AND WHO'S NOT – CAPE LEAGUE ALUMNI
AL – Nomar Garciaparra (Orleans ’93) slammed the first walk-off home run into the new seats above the Green Monster, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday. Teammate Kevin Millar (Harwich ’92) had his 14-game hitting streak snapped Saturday, but is still among the league leaders in batting avg. (.375), HR (5) and RBI (16). Left-hander Barry Zito (Wareham ‘97-’98) is off to a 3-1 start for the Oakland A’s, including a six-hit, 9-0 shutout over manager Buck Showalter (Hyannis ’76)’s Texas Rangers. A’s teammate Mark Mulder (Bourne ’97) improved his record to 2-1 with a 12-2 win over the Rangers. The Anaheim Angels’ Tim Salmon (Cotuit ’88) is tied for third in the league with five HR’s.
NL – J.T. Snow (Orleans ’88) of the San Francisco Giants is second in the league in batting avg. (392) and first in RBI (21). Jeff Bagwell (Chatham ‘87-88) leads the league with seven HR. Todd Helton (Orleans ’94) of the Colorado Rockies is among the league leaders in batting avg. (.355) and RBI (19). Mike Lowell (Chatham ’94) went 3-for-5 with a triple, two doubles and four RBI to lead the Florida Marlins to a 7-3 win over Philadelphia last Thursday. CCBL Hall of Famer Mo Vaughn (Wareham ‘87-88) led the NY Mets to a 7-2 win over the Pirates by going 4-for5 with two doubles and four RBI. Astros outfielder Lance Berkman (Wareham ’96) missed his third straight game with a sprained ligament in his left elbow.
John Garner, Jr
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting